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How Do You Know When It's the Right Time for a Career Change?

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Deciding to make a career change is a massive decision. So, how do you know when it's the right time?

There are lots of factors you could consider when deciding to change careers, not least the hiring trends for your target industry and your financial situation. It's worth taking your time with such a decision; considering a new career will have a massive impact on your future career path and earning potential.

To help you make the right decision, this article will guide you through everything you should consider when thinking about a career change. You'll also find a career quiz that will guide you through personality questions to help you consider your current professional life and your ambitions for the future.

Take A Look at The Hiring Market

One of the most important things you can do when considering a career change is evaluate the hiring market in your current and target industries. Making a career change can be risky, and you should be aware of how competitive your job industry will be.

An investigation into the current hiring market in your region will tell you if it's a good time to be considering a career move – or whether it's safer waiting for economic stability.

A tight labor market will mean there's likely to be a steady stream of roles for you to apply to. However though there may be career opportunities out there, you might struggle to compete against recent MBA graduates or people with more experience in your target industry. You'll probably also have to take a hit to your salary.

Waiting out an uncertain labor market has advantages; you won't be competing with as many people and have the financial certainty to hold off until you've found the right role.

Before you write your resignation letter, spend time evaluating the current hiring market to assess opportunities and challenges.

The Great Resignation 2022: Why It Matters

While some industries – specifically, specialized tech sectors – have seen growth in the last two years, many companies are struggling. In the UK, many employers are becoming more cautious with hiring because of the threat of a recession. Across Europe, banks are also cutting staff.

This is just the tail-end of a trend that started with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Dubbed the Great Resignation, it describes a period where workers quit their jobs in droves, looking for more money, better workplace benefits, or positions where they can make a difference.

To put it into perspective, in the US in 2021, 47.8 million people left their jobs, compared to 37.7 million in 2017. While the scale of the Great Resignation in Europe was smaller, in Q3 of 2021 in France, the number of people leaving jobs was the highest since 2007.

The Great Resignation has persisted throughout 2022, too, marking it as a long-term labor market trend. It could be an opportunity for you to find a new role in one of the thousands of positions left vacant. Still, it also represents an opportunity to negotiate a more satisfactory job at your current company – they won't want to lose you as well.

Consider Why You Want a New Job

There's no point looking for a new career if you aren't sure what you're looking for. First, identify the reasons you want to leave your current position. Are you searching for a better salary? More rewarding job responsibilities?

Secondly, consider how much of a priority your job search is. If you've been feeling a lack of motivation for your current role for a while, this could be a sign that you should change careers.

Evaluate Your Career Development and Financial Responsibilities

Deciding when to switch jobs will depend on your skills and financial situation.

Do you feel your skills are being underutilized at your current company? Then it could be the right time to take your knowledge and experience somewhere new where you can work on more challenging projects.

Personal questions about finance will also be paramount to your decision. As the saying goes, there's never a 'right' time to do anything, but with something as risky as looking for a new job, it will help if you're in a position of financial stability before you change careers.

Consider Career Guidance Programs

To make the right decision at the right time, it might be worth seeking out some professional career guidance.

Do you have a professional mentor? Then ask them if you can meet to discuss why you're feeling demotivated in your current career and whether a change is right for you. They'll be able to offer tips on searching for new roles and writing a new cover letter and resume.

It'll be even more helpful if your mentor is experienced in your current job or target industry, as you'll receive career guidance tailored to your skills and ambitions.

You might also consider turning to career guidance programs. These formal educational courses help guide you through a significant career change, giving you the time to evaluate why you're feeling unmotivated in your day job and what you're looking for in a potential career change.

However you seek career guidance, it can be a valuable way of getting a different perspective on your career path and future goals. The career guidance you receive will make it easier to evaluate if now is the right time for a career change.

Is Now the Right Time?

We've guided you through a few things you might want to consider if you're thinking about making a career change. With a significant decision such as this, you'll have to look at it from all perspectives and seek expert career guidance before deciding whether now is the right time.

Your job market research might look promising, but are you ready for a career change, or do you need more education or skills? For example, a graduate business program like an MBA may help you better prepare for your new career.

Additionally, if you don't have enough money to cover your living expenses for a short period when you might be unemployed, you may decide to wait six months to a year to switch jobs.

But if you're struggling to stay motivated in your current position and want more of a challenge in your job, it might finally be time to seek new employment.

Do you need more career guidance to make a successful career change? Take this short career quiz to see whether now could be the right time for you to pursue that new job, and afterwards, explore content to help guide your potential career move and next steps.

Quiz: Is Now the Right Time for a Career Change?